Menstrual Pain in Young Women


  • Primary dysmenorrhea occurs early after menstruation has begun (menarke) and is due to uterine contractions
  • Menstrual pain is very frequent, but in 10% leads to a monthly absence. Decreases with age and after the first child’s birth
  • Can be treated with painkillers NSAIDs and oral contraceptives. Heating pad and exercise reduces pain

What is primary dysmenorrhea?

Primary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain that is not caused by pathological changes in the abdomen. The pain usually begins a few hours before the bleeding begins. The pain is in the middle of the lower abdomen, but may radiate to your back and down the thighs.

The pain usually lasts only a day, but some may be troubled for several days. Sometimes the pain is accompanied by nausea, headache, diarrhea, heat and redness in the face.

Over half of all women experience dysmenorrhea in adolescence. Approximately 10% is then generated without treatment, they occasionally need to be on sick leave from work or school on the first day of menstruation.

How common is primary dysmenorrhea?

Between 50-90% of all women experience menstrual pain. For about 10% is so annoyed that they have sick leave on the first day of menstruation.

What causes primary dysmenorrhea?

After ovulation is formed some of substances called prostaglandins in the uterine lining. These substances can cause painful uterine contractions. It is assumed that large amounts of prostaglandins in the endometrium is the reason why some have stronger menstrual pain than others.

There are many factors that increase the risk of such menstrual pain:

  • family history
  • Young age
  • Do not born children
  • Strong, long and irregular menstrual bleeding
  • Smoking
  • BMI <20 kg / m 2
  • sexual abuse
  • Depression, anxiety and changes in the social network associated with dysmenorrhea, but not socioeconomic status

What are the symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea?

Pain that occurs several hours before your period begins, and frequently lasts a day.

May be accompanied by nausea, headache, diarrhea, heat and redness in the face.

What symptoms should you pay particular attention to?

There are no specific symptoms to be aware of.

How is it diagnosed?

Menstrual pain without other symptoms are so familiar and ordinary that you can make the diagnosis.

Gynecological examination is unnecessary in the case of the typical genes / symptoms. Other samples are not required.

What treatment is there?

We recommend that you try to prescription painkillers first. NSAIDsĀ (Actually anti-inflammatory agents) are the most effective.

NSAIDs are also available as over the counter preparation. NSAID inhibits prostaglandins, thus mitigating the pain. The bleeding will also be less potent. A NSAID should be taken at the first sign of pain. In some, it is enough with a single dose, in others there is a need for further 2-3 tablets every 8.time.

You can supplement with other analgesics eg paracetamol and in severe pain, you can combine these two treatments.

If this is not enough, there are stronger prescription NASID preparations.

Oral contraceptivessuppresses ovulation, and thus the formation of prostaglandins. The pill relieves pain substantially.

If you need contraception, it is advantageous to use the pill if you dysmenorrhea. There appears to be no difference between the different oral contraceptive effect on menstrual pain – alternatively, one can try hormone coil Jaydess.

Heating pad and exercise reduces pain.

How is long-term prospects?

Dysmenorrhea is most pronounced during adolescence. The pain often decreases from the age of 20 and decreases significantly after the first child’s birth.

How do I avoid or aggravate primary dysmenorrhea?

Apply a heating pad and exercise.

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